November 30th, 2012. This was the day that once again brought a new console into many homes here in the UK, me included. This was the day the Wii U launched. At around 11 in the morning, there was a knock on the door and standing outside was a nice delivery man who kindly brought along my new console for me. This was the day I fell in love again.
With the arrival of this new console also comes the arrival of shiny new hardware for all to get excited over. This new hardware is the Wii U Gamepad and it is the first time a game controller has a fully built-in screen, outside of a handheld console, of course. The Sega Dreamcast did feature the VMU, but that was a detachable device so really this is the first of its kind.
But the purpose of this article is not to praise how awesome the Wii U is, no. This isn’t a review, it’s an article about something that I have been thinking about for a while now, what I would like to see on the Wii U. This includes both full games and also features that make good use of the Wii U and Gamepad’s functionality. With the Wii U continuing to sell well all over the world, it needs to see some great innovation in the games to really push it on.
Let’s start off with one of my favourite genre of games, survival horror. Zombie U is a great start for the new console; it demonstrates exactly what the Wii U can do and makes excellent use of the Gamepad. Using the Gamepad as a map, the inventory menu as well as scanning for things around the screen all show the thought that Ubisoft put into the implementation of every available hardware feature.
I for sure want to see this taken as a perfect example of how to effectively use the hardware to its potential. I’m certain this opens up the doors for not only a whole host of more survival horror titles, but more ‘mature’ titles on the Wii U.
Fatal Frame is a game series that definitely comes to mind. For those who are not familiar with the ghostly game series; Fatal Frame, known as Project Zero in Europe, is a survival horror game series in which you use a camera to take photos of ghosts to defeat them. Perfect for the Wii U Gamepad, am I right?
With the main feature being that you use a camera to find and take out ghosts, it is the type of game that has been waiting for the Wii U Gamepad to step into the world. It would be pretty amazing to use the gamepad as the only way of seeing these ghosts, and then defeating them by taking a snap shot, this would most definitely make for an interesting feature. Providing it has the right setting, atmosphere and game mechanics, something already present in previous Fatal Frame titles, it could be right at home frightening you on the Wii U.
Next Zelda Game?
How can I talk about things I want in a Nintendo console without mentioning a new Zelda game? It is inevitable that Link will make another adventure, this time on the Wii U, for his beloved Princess Zelda. How it might use the Wii U we will have to wait and see, but I can still make a few guesses as to what we might find in it.
With there already being a great control scheme using the Wii Motion Plus and Nunchuck, it’ll be interesting to see what Nintendo do with the Gamepad. It could be used as both a menu and a map, to clear up the screen to reveal more of what will no doubt be a beautiful environment. The Gamepad would act as a secondary screen that can be accessed when required, rather than having to access a menu. It could make switching out items/ weapons very quick and easy at a simple swipe of the touch screen. Perhaps we’ll see use of items such as the Beetle from Skyward Sword controlled entirely with the gamepad and see its first person view on screen?
Or, could the new Zelda game unexpectedly be moving away from the motion controls of the Wiimote and will it be controlled using the Gamepad entirely? I don’t really see this happening because of how smooth and natural the feeling of using the Wiimote was in both Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, but it could very well be an option for Nintendo. Perhaps like Twilight Princess on both Gamecube and the Wii, the Wii U Zelda title will feature 2 different control schemes, one on the Gamepad, and another on the Wiimote and Nunchuck. It will definitely be exciting to see if and how the Wii U gamepad will see use.
Menus You Say?
Staying on the topic of using the Gamepad for menus, I think everyone would agree that if we were to ever see Fallout on the Wii U, the Pipboy 3000 would be right at home in your hands on the Gamepad.
No longer would you require swapping to a menu in-game on the TV, it would all be managed from the little screen in the middle of your hands. Talk about immersing yourself in the game experience, with the Pipboy in your hands, it would be as if you were in the post apocalypse wasteland. The best bit is you would never again need to hit the pause button! Unless of course you need one of those ever annoying toilet breaks, or your mother is nagging you to stop playing video games and go outside. Perhaps Fallout 4 on the Wii U may very well be a possibility?
Double Screen Sundae!
Let’s not forget that we have 2 screens for us to play around with here. Does anybody remember any other console that features 2 screens? That’s right, the DS and 3DS! So, what is now stopping developers from being able to make HD editions of games that were on the DS but for the Wii U? I think this is something that could really be explored, there are so many great games on the DS that deserve a remake, maybe not anytime soon, but it’s definitely something that could be taken further. Just imagine The World Ends With in upgraded graphics on the Wii U, tell me that wouldn’t be amazing? Or perhaps the Professor Layton series on the Wii U, to me it would be great to solve a whole host of puzzles on the Gamepad, or even a combination of both the TV and the Gamepad?
I mentioned cameras earlier, and I personally think that means it’s time for an N64 classic to make a return. I think you know which game I’m referring to, that’s right, Pokemon Snap!
What better to use the Wii U’s Gamepad as a camera than for a classic Pokemon game? Think about it, it would be absolutely perfect going around snapping pictures of all your favourite Pokémon with your Gamepad as the camera. The Miiverse would also add great functionality for this. Imagine taking some great photos, you’ll then be able to upload them to show them off or even compare them with photos your friends or others on the Miiverse have taken. It would be great to see what kind of photos others have taken, or even to see what others think of yours.
And to end…
I think I’ve explained how there’s plenty that could make perfect use out of the Wii U and its Gamepad. The general things are removing those menus and maps and sticking them right in your hands to play around with whenever you want, without having to interrupt your gaming session. I’ve simply named a few things that I might like to see make use of the Wii U’s features, but what really matters is for the developers to use those ever-creative minds of theirs and really show us all what the Wii U’s made of, and I can’t wait for that day to come.
I’m sure there are plenty of different things that could appear on the Wii U, it just takes a bright mind to find the right idea. Do any of you have any games or features you’d like to see on the Wii U? Do let us know!